Author Topic: Full body, medium body or light body ???  (Read 35489 times)

Offline robocop

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Full body, medium body or light body ???
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:09:19 PM »
Hello all,

I'm starting in the BS and I have a doubt about the Full body, medium body or light body.

What is the difference of this steps and when I will use each (based on OG, ... ?)  ?


Thanks in advance,

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 10:13:20 PM »
It's not based on OG, it's based on style and personal preferences.  When I'm designing a recipe, I look at the style guide.  The BJCP style guide is loaded in BS.  Just click on "Style" in the "Profile" tab and it will bring up a description of all of the styles. 

They are listed alphabetically.  The first one is American Amber Ale.  When you read down the through the description of the style, it will give you an idea of the body of the beer for that particular style.  For an American Amber Ale, it is described as "Medium to Medium-Full Body".  You can either use "Single Infusion, Medium Body, and Batch Sparge".  You can also use different sparging systems to fit your equipment and techniques, while still using the single infusion, medium body profiles. 

That will get you the strike water temperatures and mash temperatures for medium body.  If you wanted to go with a medium-full body, because you might want more body to the beer, then you could use either the "single infusion, medium body" or the "single infusion, full body", and then you'd have to go into the "mash" tab within your recipe.  To get it from either medium body or full body to a medium-full body, you can alter your mash in that "mash" tab.  To alter it in the "mash" tab, just double click on the mash profile description under the word "Description".  This will open up a little window where you can precisely dial in the temperatures, water to grist ration, etc.

So let's say that you used, "Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge" on the design page of your recipe for your "mash profile".  You then open the "Mash" tab.  Then double click on the mash profile under the word "Description".  You see a target mash in temperature of 152F that your mash profile is trying to hit.  This would give you a medium bodied beer.  If you had used "Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge" instead, it would have given you a target mash temperature of 156F, instead of the 152F.

152F would be a meduim bodied beer.  156F would be a full bodied beer.  Both would convert the starches to approximately the same amount of sugars.  The difference would be that the fuller bodied beer would have more sugars that weren't fermentable by the yeast, thus a little more sweetness, fuller taste, and less alcohol.  You'd have about the same starting gravity with both, but your finishing gravity would be lower with the medium bodied beer, meaning that the yeast were able to convert more of the sugars of the medium bodied mash profile into alchohol, thus making a drier, medium bodied beer with less residual sweetness and higher ABV.

So, the question now is, how do you get a "medium-full" bodied beer, when beersmith only gives you a choice of medium or full.  It's actually quite easy.  Let's say you've opened up the description window in the Mash profile tab of your recipe.  Just change your target mash temperature to 153F, 154F or 155F.  To fit the style for an American Amber Ale, you'd choose 153F, 153F or 153F.  It will automatically change your strike water temperature to compensate for the different desired "mash temp".  Anything from 153Fand 155F would be in the medium-full range, although 155F is pretty much a full bodied beer.

You can also do it the opposite way, by using the full bodied desciption and then changing your temperature down to fit what you want to have your beer turn out like.

Basically though, light body mash profiles start you at 148F, medium body profiles start you at 152F and full bodied start you at 156F.

I have a "Template Recipe" set up as my base recipe that all of my recipes are created from.  I have it defaulted to medium body and then just adjust up or down from there.  If you move your target mash temp all the way down 4F from medium body, it will give you the exact same mash profile that using a light bodied profile would have given you.

I hope that this helped, even though it was long-winded.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 10:18:25 PM by Scott Ickes »
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 02:14:06 AM »
Good reply Scott.
I was going to simply briefly talk about different mash temperatures, different ratio of fermentable to non fermentable sugars and the flavor and texture.

You provided explanations and resource to explore.
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Offline Slurk

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 06:59:10 AM »
Scott
Good explanation!
Ad Fundum!

Ready to drink: Slurk Fjellbrygg, Slurk Foeyn Ale, Slurk Agurk (Cucumber Wit), Slurk Belgian Blonde, Slurk Eng (Raspberry Wit), Slurk Hav (Seaweed Wit)
Aging: Slurk Whirled White Wheat (Wit)
Fermenting:
Next brew: Slurk Hav

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 12:29:12 PM »
Thank you.  What I struggle with sometimes, is deciding where in the acceptable temperature range I want to make a particular style.  I made an american brown ale back in the spring and didn't want it too malty, because I wanted it drinkable for my wife.  She liked it too.  The profile for an American Brown Ale is medium to medium-full.  To me, it felt kind of thin in the body, even though I used the medium profile and targeted my mash at 152F.  I made beer and it's drinkable!, but not what I look for in an american brown ale.

I'll make it again, but I think I'll target either 154F or even 155F on it the next time and head on up towards full-bodied land.  I like my brown ales on the malty side and I didn't get that with a mash temp of 152F.  But then I go back to my tasting notes, and I also like a bready quality to my brown ales, so maybe the body is there and the breadiness is lacking.  I have a difficult time distinguishing between Malty and Bready.  I had a stuck fermentation on it, and it was bottled at a higher finishing gravity than I was aiming for.  It was actually my first all-grain beer.

It scored ok in a brewing competition, but not great.  Scored 33.6, with a high of 35.  It was described as malty and full-bodied, with too sweet of a taste.  I don't really taste the malty full-bodied that they described in their notes.  I taste too sweet, not so malty and medium bodied.  With a final gravity of 1.022, it was definitely too sweet. 

I think the reason that the fermentation stuck, was because I racked it off of the primary too soon.  I eventually made an extract version of it and then when I racked the extract version to the secondary, I racked the all grain onto the yeast cake of the extract version.  It had been stuck at 1.030, but within a few hours, it was fermenting and eventually got down to 1.022 at bottling.

I have at least one 22 ounce bomber of it left. 

David,
We'll crack it open tomorrow after Baders.  I'd like your opinion of it.  I have the judges notes in the notes section of beersmith.

I'd like to try and learn more on this one.  Someone else's opinion would be great.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline robocop

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 09:20:22 PM »
Scoot,

Thanks a lot from your answer.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 09:41:15 PM »
Scoot,

Thanks a lot from your answer.

You're most welcome.  I'm happy that I could be of help.  I've received a lot of help from others here, and enjoy returning the favor.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 09:32:02 PM »
I've been brewing for a while and doing all grain for about 3 years and somehow missed out on all of this (mash temperature) until recently.  I have just always tried to keep it between 150 and 155, with no idea of what difference it made.  BS2 helped me realize there was a  difference and all of you have really shown me how to take advantage of it.  This was a great topic and answer.
Drinking: Belgian Golden Strong ale
              Step Up Porter
              Oktoberfest
               Brown IPA

Primary:  Step up Porter

Secondary: nada

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 10:54:39 PM »
I've been brewing for a while and doing all grain for about 3 years and somehow missed out on all of this (mash temperature) until recently.  I have just always tried to keep it between 150 and 155, with no idea of what difference it made.  BS2 helped me realize there was a  difference and all of you have really shown me how to take advantage of it.  This was a great topic and answer.

One of the great things about beer is that if you weren't getting the mash temp where it should optimally be, you were still making beer.
If you enjoyed what you got, it's fine.
Now that you've learned, you will be able to make beer that's more consistent and more like what you wanted.

Beer is pretty forgiving and if you enjoy it, you are doing it right!
I like beer
It makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer
it helps me unwind and some times it makes me feel mellow
I like beer
whiskeys too rough, champagne costs too much and vodka puts my mouth in gear

Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 07:17:01 PM »
One of the great things about beer is that if you weren't getting the mash temp where it should optimally be, you were still making beer.
If you enjoyed what you got, it's fine.
Now that you've learned, you will be able to make beer that's more consistent and more like what you wanted.

Beer is pretty forgiving and if you enjoy it, you are doing it right!

I've only made one beer I wasn't too fond of and I personally think it was because it had such much processed sugar in it.  It was an extract Belgian Brew and it ended up with a super high ABV (tasted like beer with a shot of liquor in it).  I made my own candi sugar (which was a fun thing I've still never done again) and luckily I had a friend that really liked it.  I gave quite a bit to him.  Other than that I've had some I liked better than others, but nothing else I wouldn't drink.  I have a couple that I personally think are legendary.
Drinking: Belgian Golden Strong ale
              Step Up Porter
              Oktoberfest
               Brown IPA

Primary:  Step up Porter

Secondary: nada

Offline Rep

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 09:32:23 AM »
SharpsRifle, "Beer is pretty forgiving and if you enjoy it, you are doing it right!"

Very good thread and I also appreciate the discussion.

As SharpsRifle said, beer is forgiving.  For me ales work better than lagers.  I was a smoker for 38 years and I find lagers to be tasteless.

Further, ales will hide little off flavors much better than a crisps lager will.

Offline Slurk

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Re: Full body, medium body or light body ???
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 07:02:44 AM »
Further, ales will hide little off flavors much better than a crisps lager will.

Yes, pils/lager is less forgiving :)
Ad Fundum!

Ready to drink: Slurk Fjellbrygg, Slurk Foeyn Ale, Slurk Agurk (Cucumber Wit), Slurk Belgian Blonde, Slurk Eng (Raspberry Wit), Slurk Hav (Seaweed Wit)
Aging: Slurk Whirled White Wheat (Wit)
Fermenting:
Next brew: Slurk Hav

 

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